My #1 choice card was pulled a few years back by Tony Burbs, well-respected Cubs collector, so I gathered up some good Cubbies to back up Hank.
If that didn't pan out for me, Card #2 on my list was Shoebox Shane's Mike Trout liquorfractor rookie. I didn't have high hopes for him being agreeable, but I would have swapped out the Cubs for some good Sox and hoped for the best.
If that didn't work out for me, Card #3 in my sights was the Tim Duncan auto that Fuji recently stumbled upon.**
And if those all didn't work out, I'd field offers on the blog and Twitter, and if nothing seemed right, throw Hank on eBay.
But that's a moot point because Tony Burbs graciously agreed to my offer (with only a minor alteration), and I was able to score my first choice. :)
BOOM!!! Axl Rose auto from 2013 Topps Archives. This was a huge card I had been pining for for a long time. I knew Tony lucked into pulling it, his greatest pull, and I had hoped to one day be able to put together a strong enough offer for it. Very happy to have swung this mega trade!
I've realized recently that Guns N' Roses is currently my favorite band, as you might've guessed with them frequently getting worked into my posts over the past few months. What can I say, they're just the band I most dig listening to these days. (I'm musing on typing up a post covering my favorite bands over the years.) Appetite For Destruction was among the first few cassettes I ever bought for myself as a kid in the late 80s, so there's plenty of sentimental value for me there, too.
In difficult times, I turn to the lyrics of W. Axl Rose, with his wisdom being a beacon steering me towards the right course of action. They've got dozens of songs I love deeply, though I might have to say my favorite song is "Locomotive".
"Locomotive" is my jam, especially on a Friday afternoon when I get off work. If I were a professional baseball player, it'd be my walk-up music.
Anyways, back to the card.. Looks like Axl has two Topps certified autos on the market: this card from 2013 Archives, and a framed mini from 2013 Allen & Ginter. Both cards consistently sell on eBay for $300+.
Tony kindly threw in a couple surprise bonus cards too. Sweet auto of Joe Musgrove, a hometown hero of mine, and a Desperate Double Dozen need of Tim Blackwell's mustache. (Expect a big Tim Blackwell PC post coming soon.)
Before Tony agreed to the trade (I had to wait a little while before I made the offer because I had gotten a card off his "most wanted" in a recent order of mine, so had to wait for that to show up so I could add it to the offer), I came up with a list of big-money cards I would be interested in mega-trading for:
Axl Rose Topps 2013 Archives or Ginter auto
Mike Trout 2011 Topps Update cognac parallel
Tim Duncan auto (pack-certified and on-card)
Roberto Clemente 1955 Topps (PSA graded, low grade is fine)
Hoyt Wilhelm 1952 Topps (PSA graded, low grade is fine)
Gavvy Cravath 1914 Cracker Jack (PSA graded, low grade is fine)
Kirby Puckett 2003 Topps Retired refractor auto
Andre The Giant auto (certified authentic)
Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer (PSA graded, low grade is fine)
Mickey Mantle 1953 Topps (graded, low grade is fine)
Mickey Mantle 1957 Topps (graded PSA 4 or better)
It would be reaching on my part, but certified autos of Clemente, Mantle, or Ted Williams would also have my interest, for sure.
I guess that's sort of an Expensive White Whale list for me. I'll have to keep that handy in the event I end up with another really nice card to trade someday (or win the lottery or something).
** I hit Fuji with an alternate trade proposition for the Duncan, sans-Hank, but still with plenty of pop. He declined, which I totally respect, though it was an impressive lot, but he gave me some solid personal reasons for his inclination to retain the card, and it seems like the card has "untouchable" status for him, and would still be even if the Hank was part of the offer.
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